What’s up, gamers and players!? Colorwind here and it is a new year! It’s been a long time since I’ve done a Gaming Landscape and now feels like the right time to bring it back. I mentioned this before but these won’t be on a regular schedule, like monthly or weekly, but will show up when I have enough to say about a decent amount of games. For those who don’t know, this blog is me talking about the games I’ve been playing recently and giving my quick thoughts on them. So this is like a collection of mini impressions. So without further hesitation, here’s my Gaming Landscape as of January 8th, 2015!
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
I’ve owned the first BlazBlue game for some time now but I never committed to the game. So I changed that this past month and beat Arcade mode with each character and completed 100% each of the character’s stories in Story mode, as well as the final ending section. I didn’t unlock all the stuff in the gallery mode though, nor did I get all the achievements. Also, I didn’t play online because no one plays this game online anymore. I couldn’t get even one match over the course of a month. Regardless, I really enjoyed this game. The action is fast paced and combo heavy and I like the characters and their backstories. I will say that the story itself is pretty ridiculous but it does end in a satisfying way. I really didn’t like what they did with the structure of the story mode though. Essentially, you have to lose every match you have as well as win. You pretty much have to do every match twice to see what would happen if you both won and lost. That’s just busy work. Also, I’d like to say something about Rachel. I am terrible with her and especially when it comes to her fighting Nu, I have no idea what to do. It’s like there’s nothing that can be done to fight her. She doesn’t have the move set to deal with someone like Nu. I might be just terrible with Rachel and I’m sure that’s what is really the case but I was stuck in Arcade mode with Rachel for 45 minutes. It was bullshit. My main in Calamity Trigger is probably Jin but I want my main to be Noel. I just like her fighting style more. I enjoy her speed, her Drive attacks and how they link up, her ability to continue a combo after knocking down an opponent. The only thing that sucks about her are her supers. Anyways, I enjoyed this game but I’ve already moved on from to the next game.
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
This is actually the game that got me into the BlazBlue series. When it originally came out on the Xbox 360, I reviewed it for the site I used to work for, PixlBit. However, when I was done with the game, I had to return it. Well, as a Christmas gift, I bought the limited edition of BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend for the Xbox 360. It was actually cheaper than the standard edition on Amazon. I don’t have as much to say about this game since I just got it about a week and a half ago and I haven’t been playing it non-stop (due to the other games I’m going to be talking about) but once again, I’m enjoying myself. I remember than in this game, I used to main with Tsubaki but it has been a long time since I’ve played this game (2012) that I think I forgot everything. Nevertheless, I will get good with her again, I’m sure. Right now, I’ve played through arcade mode with Ragna and Jin and have been going through the tutorial mode. Can I say that the announcer for this game sucks? I never noticed before but she’s really terrible. Luckily there are other announcers you can buy and unlock in the gallery so I did that and got what I think is the voice of Jin as the announcer. I’m not sure though.
Mario Kart 8
Mario Kart 8 at this point is just my default game I go to when I want to play video games but don’t know what to play. I just hop online and play several races. With some money I got for Christmas, I bought the first DLC pack and gave the new courses a try. I like them. The recreation of Super Mario Kart’s Rainbow Road, and Hyrule Circuit are probably my favorites, where Ice Ice Outpost doesn’t really stand out to me. Also, the F-Zero track seems like a missed opportunity. I don’t really like the characters though. I mean Link is fine but Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach? These aren’t new characters, they’re skins. They should be different colors for the racers like the different colored Yoshi’s and Shy Guy’s. Same goes for Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach. Couldn’t we have gotten Diddy Kong or Bowser Jr. or King Boo? Since there’s a Excitebike and F-Zero track, maybe the Excitebike guy or Captain Falcon? Just saying. Still, I don’t feel ripped off because the courses alone are worth the money.
Mega Man 6
I’ve had Mega Man 6 since I got my NES back in 2011. However, I’ve never been able to beat it because I’m terrible at old school Mega Man games. Now the X series, I’ve got that handled, but the original series has always been harder in my opinion. However, over the course of two days, I managed to finally beat that game. I think it was starting with Blizzard Man that helped because normally I read that you’re supposed to start with Flame Man. However, Flame Man’s stage is so hard when you’re just starting out, it can be overwhelming. Blizzard Man’s stage is a better introduction to the game and mechanics than Flame Man’s and that started me off better. Following the boss order from that starting point ended up giving me a better learning curve and I was able to finish the game as a result. I also had some help from a guide on GameFAQs by one Colin Moriarty! I do want to say one thing though. The boss fight in Mr. X’s first stage is easily the hard boss fight in the game. Colin says it’s the easiest of the Mr. X and Dr. Wily bosses but it’s a lie. A VICIOUS LIE I SAY! That said, I enjoyed the game. I thought it was fun, even if the levels and especially the bosses are less creative than previous games.
The Legend of Dragoon
A good chuck of December for me was playing Earthbound all the way through for the first time. Now I’m not going to talk about that game here because I’ve decided to write a review for it so that’ll be coming soon. However, after finishing that game, I wanted to play another RPG. So I was looking around my PS3 library on my hard drive and I decided on The Legend of Dragoon. I had tried it way back when I was trying out a bunch of RPGs in the early 2000s when my friend Don was introducing me to the genre. I played, I think, the first couple of fights and then just gave up on the game. I don’t remember why. Coming back to it now, I think it might be because I didn’t like it. Legend of Dragoon is a very slow moving game. It takes a long time to get random battles, it takes a long time for the battles to load, there’s a wait period before you attack, the text scrolls at a leisurely pace, you get the point. There is just, so much, goddamn waiting, in Legend of Dragoon! I really didn’t like the game at first because of this. I was bored. Extremely, in fact. However, I kept with it and now that the Dragoons are a thing and I’m getting a better sense of progression in the game, I’m enjoying it more. I still don’t think it’s a great game but it’s alright. I want to talk about the writing in this game now. What’s the deal with how Dart and Shana’s relationship is written? There’s always these abrupt statements about them getting married right away or having a baby or something really personal. Meanwhile, Dart doesn’t know how he feels and Shana is determined to always be by his side and bends over backwards in order to do so. Also, she’s immediately suspicious of Rose when she first meets her like a jealous girlfriend. It’s just really uncomfortable for me. Every time it happens, I get exaperated and just think, “Okay, why are we doing this right now? Can we get back to the matter at hand? Evil empire? Dragons flying around? Remember, people!?” I’m going to stay with it as I’m already about 10 hours in but I still think there’s plenty of time for this game to drop the ball.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
I’ve never beaten Vice City. I’ve had the original PS2 version, the Xbox version, and I own the PC version now but I’ve never finished Vice City. I used to always just get sidetracked causing general mayhem and looking for all the hidden packages and unique jumps. So I decided to finally finish the game. Not complete 100%, just see the ending. After a very difficult time getting the game to work (read my blog about that process here), I got started. Maybe it’s because the game is now over ten years old and I’ve played Grand Theft Auto V and San Andreas since this came out but man, this game lacks polish. The missions often ask you to do stuff that the controls just do not allow you to do easily and the penalties for failing missions and dying are harsh. It’s still a lot of fun driving around and causing general mayhem but a lot of the missions are not very fun. Or rather the missions would be fun if the mechanics of the game didn’t make them so frustrating. I’m currently stuck on a mission from the Bikers where I’m supposed to fill up a chaos meter but causing general mayhem but I can never do it in time. I mean, once I killed a bunch of policemen, blew up five cop cars, two SWAT trucks and even a police helicopter, as well as murdered a bunch of pedestrians but that still wasn’t enough. The meter only filled up a little more than half way! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM ME GAME!? Quite frankly, I’m frustrated with the game and I’m taking a little break from it for now.
There was my first Gaming Landscape of the year! It was a long one but it was for the whole month of December, essentially. I just started an Alice: Madness Returns playthrough on my YouTube channel and I’ll be streaming gameplay now every Friday at 8pm Pacific on Twitch so be sure to check that out to see some of the games in my future Gaming Landscapes. And speaking of Gaming Landscapes, tell me what your Gaming Landscapes have been in the comments below! Peace and love, gamers and players! Colorwind out!